Adelaide Catholic Archbishop Denies In Court He Was Told By Child Sex Abuse Victim Another Priest Sexually Abused Him

A CATHOLIC Church leader has sworn under oath that he doesn’t remember graphic conversations about alleged sex abuse against altar boys.

Philip Wilson faces a two-week hearing over claims he concealed a colleague's sexual abuse of a 10-year-old boy in 1971. Picture: AAP Image/Darren Pateman
Philip Wilson faces a two-week hearing over claims he concealed a colleague’s sexual abuse of a 10-year-old boy in 1971. 

News.com.au

“ADELAIDE Archbishop Philip Wilson has declared under oath that two former altar boys never told him they had been sexually abused by a fellow priest.

Archbishop Wilson, 67, who has been diagnosed with the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease, gave evidence in his defence in Newcastle Local Court after magistrate Robert Stone rejected the clergyman’s bid to have the case thrown out.

Archbishop Wilson told the court on Wednesday he had known one of the former altar boys Peter Creigh and his family when he was an assistant priest in the NSW Hunter Region in the mid-1970s.

But Archbishop Wilson said he had no memory of Mr Creigh telling him in 1976 how he had been sexually abused by priest James Fletcher five years earlier, when he was 10. 

Archbishop Wilson told the court the alleged conversation was unlikely to have occurred because Mr Creigh, when giving evidence in December, claimed he went into graphic detail about what Fletcher had done to him.

“I don’t think I would have forgotten that,” Archbishop Wilson said.

Asked by defence barrister Stephen Odgers SC what he would have done if Mr Creigh had told him in 1976 about the abuse, Archbishop Wilson said his first priority would have been to provide pastoral care to the then 15-year-old boy and his family.

The archbishop said he would also have reported the allegations to his superiors.

Fletcher was found guilty in December 2004 of nine counts of child sexual abuse and died in jail of a stroke in 2006.

Archbishop Wilson is the most senior Catholic official in the world to be charged with concealing child sexual abuse.

The trial continues.”

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